Volbeat bring the good times to Manchester

Posted on 2 October 2019
By Frank Ralph
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Tuesday nights in Manchester don’t come much better than this. Danko Jones, Baroness and Volbeat all took the Apollo stage to entertain a capacity crowd with some of the most energetic, beautifully majestic and singalong-able music out there.

Canadian rockers Danko Jones got the night off to a raucous start with their energetic rock. The early start to the evening meant they played to a not full, but far from empty venue and it looked like everyone that had managed to get there early enjoyed the show.

The early start also meant that as well as a nearly 2 hour set from headliners Volbeat, we got a full hour of truly glorious soundscapes from the fantastic Baroness. 60 full minutes of pure majesty with John Baizley and Gina Gleason both looking like they enjoyed every minute of it as they traded solos across an epic 11 song set.

They’re the kind of act, for me, that makes the headliners look brave. It takes a band confident in their own abilities to bring a band as good as Baroness along with them. To follow them must be tricky.

Unless you’re a band like Volbeat that is. A band with a devout following, who are all here to worship at the feet of the enigmatic Michael Poulsen and his cohorts. The kind of band whose newest material gets sung just as loudly as their oldest.

I’m relatively new to the Volbeat party but it’s clear to see that the absolutely heaving Apollo is full of people who have been along for most – if not all – of the ride with their Danish heroes.

It feels like a family, or, looking at the amount of denim vests, chains and tattoos on display, a biker gang kinda family.

Having cancelled a show in Bristol a few days earlier due to illness Poulsen had a look of someone getting over a bout of something, but it didn’t effect the show at all. Wearing their influences as proudly as their tattoos they raised fists for Johnny Cash and snarled like Elvis – they even chucked in a sneaky bit of Slayer for good measure before Slaytan.

For Evigt and Sad Man’s Tongue, with its ring of Fire intro, both went down well as obvious fan favourites as did When We Were Kids with it’s Wildhearts infused Springsteen vibe.

Half of their latest album Rewind, Replay, Rebound got an airing alongside loads of older stuff and on tonight’s showing they’re a band I’m going to spend a lot more time with. A perfect chugging, rockabilly, metal melting pot of influences all delivered with a smile and a snarl.

What’s not to love?

To see the full set of photos from the night here